UK: Offshore workers’ strike avoided

Unite, the UK’s biggest offshore trade union, on Friday repeated its call for the industry to end its year-long imposition of cuts after members in the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) agreement accepted improvements to their terms and conditions.

Following a consultative ballot, OCA members, who provide maintenance across installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), voted to accept improved holiday entitlement and a joint review of the ‘three and three’ equal time shift rotations by over 50 per cent.

The agreement ends a prolonged dispute which previously seen workers reject efforts by some OCA employers to impose cuts to jobs, terms and conditions without consultation following the slump in oil price.

Unite Regional Officer Tommy Campbell said: “This demonstrates that even in times of crisis the most effective way forward is for the industry to work with trade unions through proper consultation channels under a collective agreement.

“What our oil and gas sector urgently requires now is a genuine co-operation between government, industry and the offshore trade unions to respond to this on-going crisis, alleviating the pressure on the industry while protecting employment rights.

“This is the only way we can begin to build a safe and sustained recovery for the UK offshore sector.”

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